Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Discussion about Flying Squirrels
OrigamiSquared
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:20 pm

Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby OrigamiSquared » Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:27 am

Hello everyone! You are all so helpful. Thanks bunches in advance.

I recently came across your site, and I think flyers are the most adorable things!! I do have a few questions, and as I research, I will probably have even more questions.

1: A lot of you seem to carry your FS with you wherever you go, in your shirt, bra, or pocket. Aren't you scared they will run away? Has this ever happened? Dogs are normally kept on leashes to keep them out of trouble, but this isn't an option for fliers. How do you guys deal with this?

2: What do you do about the FS using the bathroom? Obviously when it is in it's cage, it uses that, but what about when it is in your bonding pouch or shirt?

3: How much should I expect to pay overall for a FS, and everything else I need to provide for it (home, food, toys, vets, ect.)?'

4: I have heard they are VERY energetic. If I got a FS, what would be my responsibilities as its owner to help it burn some of that energy?

5: Where can I buy a cage for a FS?

Edit: Can the little cuties be litterbox trained, or do I just have to get used to being a bathroom? If the latter is the case, is it easy to clean off, or does the urine and stench stain?
Also, does my playtime with them have to be undivided attention, or can I do other things, such as study while spending time with them?

Any more tips, things you think I should know, or things you wish you knew before deciding to get a FS are very welcome.

I will edit this post to include more questions when I think of them.

Thanks!
OrigamiSquared
Last edited by OrigamiSquared on Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Judy C.

Re: Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby Judy C. » Sat Oct 04, 2008 2:26 pm

OrigamiSquared wrote:Hello everyone!
I recently came across your site, and I think flyers are the most adorable things!! I do have a few questions, and as I research, I will probably have even more questions.

1: A lot of you seem to carry your FS with you wherever you go, in your shirt, bra, or pocket. Aren't you scared they will run away? Has this ever happened? Dogs are normally kept on leashes to keep them out of trouble, but this isn't an option for fliers. How do you guys deal with this?

When they are very young they will usually stay in your shirt, especially during the daytime. As they get older they may still stay in your shirt during the day, but at night they are going to get out and play. It's best to leave them at home when you are going somewhere - that way you don't have to worry about them.

2: What do you do about the FS using the bathroom? Obviously when it is in it's cage, it uses that, but what about when it is in your bonding pouch or shirt?

It doesn't bother them at all where they go to the bathroom! :D You just need to remember to always keep a bunch of kleenex around, and bring at least one change clothes wherever you go! Seriously, they will poop everywhere, at any time, including at a dead run! Luckily, they have tiny 'chocolate sprinkles' poops that just brush away. (They also love to poop while they are running in their exercise wheel, thereby flinging it all over everywhere.) Peeing is a different matter - they are very serious about their peeing. They get an intense look on their face and become very very still while they take care of business. Their favorite place to pee will be on your back or shoulder. It is how they mark you as belonging to them.

3: How much should I expect to pay overall for a FS, and everything else I need to provide for it (home, food, toys, vets, ect.)?'

Expect to pay as much as your bank account will allow! Get the biggest cage you can afford and get into your house. Food, in a lot of cases, will be the same things (veggies, fruit) that you eat, only raw. Nuts, of course, which you will soon have a freezer full of - collect acorns, and buy in-shell pecans, hazle nuts, walnuts, etc., whenever you can get them on sale. They are usually only available during the holiday season. Toys can be picked up at thrift stores, dollar stores, pet stores, etc. Just learn to look at everything with the thought 'what would my squirrel do with that?'. Vets shouldn't be a problem - flyers don't need any routine shots. Just make sure you do locate one that is familiar with exotics or wild life. That way, if you ever do need one, you'll be ready.

4: I have heard they are VERY energetic. If I got a FS, what would be my responsibilities as its owner to help it burn some of that energy?

He will want to play with you every night for at least an hour or so - longer, if he can talk you into it. The most important thing is to get him an exercise wheel. The Stealth Wheel is the best. They are not the cheapest you can find, but they are made better, last longer, are safer for the squirrel, and are unbelievably quiet. Since they will run in their wheel all night, 'quiet' is VERY IMPORTANT. With a Stealth Wheel, the only time you will hear them running is when they decide to take an in-shell pecan for a midnight ride. (They do this frequently!) Make sure they have plenty of large branches to climb on and chew on.

I edit this post to include more questions when I think of them.

Ask away - there are plenty of people on here to help you out!

Thanks!
OrigamiSquared


Enjoy your flyer - they are absolutely enchanting!

Judy

OrigamiSquared
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:20 pm

Re: Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby OrigamiSquared » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:19 pm

Followup questions:
Judy C. wrote:
OrigamiSquared wrote:Hello everyone!

2: ...

It doesn't bother them at all where they go to the bathroom! :D You just need to remember to always keep a bunch of kleenex around, and bring at least one change clothes wherever you go! Seriously, they will poop everywhere, at any time, including at a dead run! Luckily, they have tiny 'chocolate sprinkles' poops that just brush away. (They also love to poop while they are running in their exercise wheel, thereby flinging it all over everywhere.) Peeing is a different matter - they are very serious about their peeing. They get an intense look on their face and become very very still while they take care of business. Their favorite place to pee will be on your back or shoulder. It is how they mark you as belonging to them.
Eww! That would take some getting used to. Is there pee easily cleanable, and does it leave a stain/stench? Also, is it possible to train them not to pee on you?

3: ...
Expect to pay as much as your bank account will allow! Get the biggest cage you can afford and get into your house. Food, in a lot of cases, will be the same things (veggies, fruit) that you eat, only raw. Nuts, of course, which you will soon have a freezer full of - collect acorns, and buy in-shell pecans, hazle nuts, walnuts, etc., whenever you can get them on sale. They are usually only available during the holiday season. Toys can be picked up at thrift stores, dollar stores, pet stores, etc. Just learn to look at everything with the thought 'what would my squirrel do with that?'. Vets shouldn't be a problem - flyers don't need any routine shots. Just make sure you do locate one that is familiar with exotics or wild life. That way, if you ever do need one, you'll be ready.
I want to provide the most I can for my FS, if I get one, but I am a broke college student. Could I have some numbers, or an online store to look at to see if I have the minimum to provide a good life for my FS? Also, where can I buy a cage for these guys?

4: ...
He will want to play with you every night for at least an hour or so - longer, if he can talk you into it. The most important thing is to get him an exercise wheel. The Stealth Wheel is the best. They are not the cheapest you can find, but they are made better, last longer, are safer for the squirrel, and are unbelievably quiet. Since they will run in their wheel all night, 'quiet' is VERY IMPORTANT. With a Stealth Wheel, the only time you will hear them running is when they decide to take an in-shell pecan for a midnight ride. (They do this frequently!) Make sure they have plenty of large branches to climb on and chew on.
How do you play with your FS? Do they need undivided attention, or can I just "hang out" with it while studying in the evenings? I am a complete Newbie at this, so spare no details. :D




Thanks!
OrigamiSquared

Tamis
Flying Furball
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 12:03 am

Re: Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby Tamis » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:21 pm

As a broke college student you can survive with a squirrel.. you will just have to make sure you get his habitat all set up before you invest in him/her. a few cage sites...
http://www.buycages.com/FlyingSquirrelcages.php FREE SHIPPING WOOT!!! but not so pretty
http://www.sugar-gliders.com/store/merc ... n=GCageSyn made for sugar gliders but they have similar needs in habitat.
http://www.birdscomfort.com/hq_bird_cages.html these are bird cages.. beware of bar spacing and make sure there are no bigger gaps than advertised.. I bought one and had to spend extra time and effort and money lining it with hardware cloth.. but it sure looks nice!!!
EBAY!!! http://www.birdscomfort.com/hq_bird_cages.html once again watch bar spacing and make sure you dont get a bum seller.. READ FEEDBACK!!
Good Luck!!

OrigamiSquared
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:20 pm

Re: Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby OrigamiSquared » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:02 pm

Thanks for all the help, everyone! Please look at my edited initial post for my new questions.

freedomjack
Juvie Pup
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:32 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

Re: Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby freedomjack » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:53 pm

Flyer pee will feel a little strange the first time it happens, but you get used to it. They usually pee right when they wake up, so if I wake one of my furkids up, I'll take them into the bathroom and set them in the sink until they do their business. It's not a 100% method, but it cuts down on the liquid accidents. It's never stained my clothes and while there is a little smell, it's not horrible or lingering. I just have specific clothes to wear when I'm playing with the squirrels. (that way when they nibble little holes and pull strings loose, I'm not upset).

As far as initial set up expenses: I bought this cage as my first cage and was very happy with it for the price. The bar spacing is 5/8" (slightly larger than most people would advise), but I never had a problem with Avery being able to squeeze through the bars (at 8 weeks old). However, your mileage may vary, and I'm sure it would be a MUCH different case with young pups. If you do decide to go with this one, I'd recommend getting some zipties to reinforce where the cage sides come together. You can also find some reasonably priced fleece cage sets (pouches, blankies, vine hammocks) on ebay or http://www.critterbin.com. They're marketed to sugar gliders, but flying squirrels love them just as much for sleeping in and hiding nuts! You'll probably want a 12" (at least) running wheel (stealth wheel, wodent wheel, or Silent Spinner). You can buy natural branch perches from the bird section in the pet store or sanitize non-poisonous branches and place them in the cage (again, zip ties are your friend for this one.) Most of the other purchases for cage setup are low dollar amounts: food cups, water dish, misc. toys. (but they do add up).

As far as playtime, undivided attention is best when they're out of the cage, because they do tend to get into things if they're not watched. A flyer-safe room is ideal, if you have the space.
~-*-~ Jen ~-*-~
**Avery and Fern's HOF**

voguemamselle619
NFSA Member
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:05 pm
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 1
Location: Tri-State Area

Re: Hi all! Newbie questions from a HOF wannabe

Postby voguemamselle619 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:34 pm

[quote="OrigamiSquared"]

1: A lot of you seem to carry your FS with you wherever you go, in your shirt, bra, or pocket. Aren't you scared they will run away? Has this ever happened? Dogs are normally kept on leashes to keep them out of trouble, but this isn't an option for fliers. How do you guys deal with this?

batman jumped onto a customer in target once. that was really bad, and totally freaked out the poor man. i don't take shylo with me anywhere because she is far too curious and wouldn't hesitate to jump on something that looked appealing.

2: What do you do about the FS using the bathroom? Obviously when it is in it's cage, it uses that, but what about when it is in your bonding pouch or shirt?

shylo pees in my shirt... i try to catch her before she goes and put her somewhere more acceptable, but more often than not, there are accidents. the pee smells pretty bad, especially if you give them acorns. but like others have said... you sorta get over it, and just be prepared to change at any time when the squirrel is running around your shirt.

4: I have heard they are VERY energetic. If I got a FS, what would be my responsibilities as its owner to help it burn some of that energy?

SUPER DUPER energetic. lightning fast. a stealth wheel is a good suggestion. unfortunately, if your flyer is like shylo, she won't touch a wheel, so it's pointless. i've flyer proofed my room so that she can just run around in it. shylo likes attention while she's out, but she also likes to do her own thing. i brought shylo to college with me, and so sometimes, she'd just have to run around while i studied. that was ok, as long as i knew the room was safe for her to be in. the first couple months i just watched her non stop while she was out to look for potential dangers. after that, i just made sure while i was studying to look up every now and then and check where she was.

good luck!
- alyssa -

- HOF to shylo... my pretty squirrel girl -

- in loving memory of batman, the best little princess i could have ever asked for -


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